Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiڤريامن
Coat of arms of Pariaman
Sabiduak Sadayuang
Location within West Sumatra
Location within West Sumatra
Pariaman is located in Sumatra
Location in Sumatra and Indonesia
Pariaman is located in Indonesia
Pariaman (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 0°37′35″S 100°7′4″E / 0.62639°S 100.11778°E / -0.62639; 100.11778
Country Indonesia
Province West Sumatra
 • MayorGenius Umar
 • Vice MayorMardison Mahyuddin
 • Total73.36 km2 (28.32 sq mi)
 (2020 Census)
 • Total94,224
 • Density1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
Area code(+62) 751

Pariaman (Jawi: ڤريامن‎), is a coastal city in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Pariaman covers an area of 73.36 km2 (28 sq mi), with a 12 km (7 mi) coastline. It had a population of 79,043 at the 2010 Census and 94,224 at the 2020 census.[2] "Pariaman" means "safe area".


According to the limited early sources available, by the sixteenth century Pariaman was an important port city serving the Minangkabau settlements in the interior highlands of central west Sumatra. Traders from western India and later from Europe visited the port, trading in pepper, gold, and other products of the interior. In the early seventeenth century the port came under control of the Sultanate of Aceh, to the north; an Acehnese governor was stationed in the town. The port formally came under Dutch control in 1663 by treaty with Aceh. In 1671 the Dutch built a lodge here and later, around 1684, a fort. Continuing clashes with local rulers and competition with other European trading companies resulted in the port being abandoned by the Dutch in 1770. By the early twentieth century the port was less prominent on the coast, as Padang, just to the south, was the focus of Dutch activities in western Sumatra and had a railroad link to the interior.[3][4]

After Indonesian independence, Pariaman was a naval headquarters for a province called Central Sumatra. It became an autonomous city on 11 April 2002.

Tabuik monument
Tabuik monument

Administrative districts

The city is administratively divided into four districts (kecamatan), listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census[5] and 2020 Census.[6]

District Area
in km2
2010 Census
2020 Census
Pariaman Selatan
(South Pariaman)
16.82 16,037 20,006
Pariaman Tengah
(Central Pariaman)
15.68 28,957 31,930
Pariaman Timur
(East Pariaman)
17.51 14,853 19,697
Pariaman Utara
(North Pariaman)
23.35 19,196 22,591
Totals 73.36 79,043 94,224

The city is surrounded by the rural regency (kabupaten) of Padang Pariaman in the north, east, and south, while it borders with Mentawai Strait in the west, making Pariaman a semi-enclave within Padang Pariaman Regency.


The contemporary economy is primarily agricultural with 79% of land in farming. Minangkabau International Airport, West Sumatra's major airport, is located near the city.


Tabuiks being lowered into the sea
Tabuiks being lowered into the sea

Although the population of Pariaman is predominantly Sunni, a famous and popular festival of Shia origin named Tabuik (from Arabic "tabut" meaning coffin), is held annually in the city every 10 Muharram, the Day of Ashura. This practice was brought to the city in 1818, when ex-British soldiers from India settled in Pariaman. They had been disbanded when the British handed the area back to the Netherlands as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.[7]

The Tabuik festival commemorates the martyrdom of the grandsons of Muhammad, Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali. The Buraq, a purported winged horse that took Muhammad on his night-long journey to heavens, i.e., the Mi'raj, plays a role in the Tabuik. It presumably represents the white horse of the Imam Hussein at the Battle of Karbala, but is portrayed with a woman's head, wings, a broad tail and carrying a coffin.[7]

In the festival, two such effigies or "Tabuik", one for Hasan and one for Hussein, are carried through the city. Named Tabuik Pasa and Tabuik Subarang, they are swayed accompanied by tambur music and tasa drums. In the afternoon, both Tabuik are moved to the coast and before sunset they are immersed into the sea.


  1. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.
  2. ^ Badan Pusat Statistic, Jakarta, 2021.
  3. ^ Tsuyoshi Kato (1980). Rantau Pariaman: the world of Minangkabau coastal merchants in the nineteenth century. Journal of Asian Studies 39(4):729-752
  4. ^ Dobbin, Christine (1977). Economic change in Minangkabau as a factor in the rise of the Padri movement, 1784-1830. Indonesia 23(1):1-38.
  5. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  6. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Taking in Pariaman's Unique Seaside Culture". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 14 April 2012.

Coordinates: 0°37′35″S 100°07′04″E / 0.62639°S 100.11778°E / -0.62639; 100.11778